Arsenal, Man U prepare for FA Cup final

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Arsenal has been training hard ahead of Saturday's FA Cup final against Manchester United.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:52 IST
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Arsenal has been training hard ahead of Saturday's FA Cup final against Manchester United. At the end of a season that promised so much but, so far at least, delivered little, it's a chance for them to salvage some silverware, and indeed some pride. Arsenal may have finished second in the English Premiership - one place ahead of Saturday's opponents - but their inconsistent season was marked by home and away losses to United. Motivating factor For Wenger, then, a huge motivating factor lies in the fact that it represents the final opportunity of the current campaign to inflict defeat on his archrival Sir Alex Ferguson. Over recent years, Arsenal and United's rivalry has sometimes snowballed into outright hostility, and their games rarely go by without some kind of flashpoint. Wenger says he doesn't want his players to forget about the fractiousness of any of their recent encounters against United. But he hopes they are still able to focus on playing their natural game. At the start of the season, few would have envisaged both Arsenal and Manchester United being forced into the roles of Premiership also-rans in quite such emphatic fashion. Both, too, were sent packing from the Champions League significantly earlier than they would have hoped for. So, as well as being the final opportunity for silverware, a season's-worth of pride will be at stake when these two great rivals line up once again in Cardiff this Saturday. (AP)

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